A mean­ing­less at­tempt

Pakistan Observer - - OPINION -

MARYAM ABBASI There is al­ways a pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive side of tech­nol­ogy; on one hand in­ter­net is giv­ing knowl­edge to youth and on the other hand it is play­ing the role to vi­ti­ate the youth. Sev­eral at­tempts have been made by the Gov­ern­ment of Pak­istan to block the sites car­ry­ing of­fen­sive mat­ter.

In Jan­uary this year, the Fed­eral gov­ern­ment kicked off one of the largest on­line cen­sor­ship sprees Pak­istan has wit­nessed in the last decade: the block­ing of over 400,000 web­sites termed ‘of­fen­sive’. But all of th­ese sites are not car­ry­ing of­fen­sive con­tent. Most of th­ese sites con­tain the con­tent like en­ter­tain­ment, ed­u­ca­tion, med­i­cal ser­vices and hospi­tals, fash­ion sites, ho­tels, travel agen­cies, food stores. In ad­di­tion, thou­sands of do­mains listed ‘to-be­banned’ host no con­tent at all but are sim­ply avail­able for pur­chase from do­main reg­is­tra­tion com­pa­nies. There should be a way to choose cor­rect sites to be blocked.

Now, In­ter­net Ser­vice Providers (ISPs) are us­ing a web fil­ter­ing so­lu­tion to block web­sites. It is a re­quest to Gov­ern­ment to start tak­ing steps in choosing right sites which are car­ry­ing of­fen­sive con­tent to block them and block them per­ma­nently. —Via email

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